What’s the value of a guarantee?

Guaranteeing delivery builds confidence, conversions and (gasp) beats fast shipping with most consumers.

As we reported last month, “fast” isn’t what it used to be, driven partly by the sheer volume of online orders desensitizing consumers to concerns about delivery speed—but also because delays still plague some parts of the retail/ecommerce supply chain (we’re looking at you, Ever Given). So, we wanted to find out whether confidence was now eclipsing speed as the more important delivery metric in consumers’ minds.

  • Our recent findings on estimated delivery dates uncovered that a narrow, banded estimate (e.g., “Delivered between June 5-7”) was preferred by 79% of consumers versus a more specific but potentially less accurate date (e.g., “Delivered on June 6”)
  • And 81% of consumers preferred an accurate delivery date estimate versus a guaranteed delivery date estimate. But given supply chain disruptions continue—from labor shortages to product shortages—and accurate delivery dates become more complicated to determine, can delivery guarantees help fill the gap for online retailers?
  • Highlights of our BOXpoll findings on delivery guarantees:
    • Delivery guarantees can be a conversion driver
      • 69% of high-income consumers (those earning >$100k/year) are more likely to buy from a retailer who offers guaranteed delivery (vs 63-64% of others)
      • East Coast, represent consumers in the Northeast (68%) and South (66%) are more attracted by delivery guarantees (vs 64% West and 61% Midwest)
    • Delivery guarantees can win over some consumers more than fast shipping
      • Men (56%) are more likely to prefer delivery guarantees over fast shipping than women (49%)
      • Most Millennials (58%) and Gen X (55%) prefer delivery guarantees to fast shipping, compared to less than half (48%) of both Gen Z and Baby Boomers
      • Interestingly, consumers in the South (54%) and West (53%) prefer delivery guarantees to fast shipping more than those in Northeast (51%) and Midwest (49%)
    • Delivery guarantees can drive a price premium for some consumers
      • Parents (53%) are the most likely segment to go with a higher-priced retailer who offers a delivery guarantee over a less-expensive retailer (offering the same product) without a delivery guarantee.
      • Especially younger parents—Millennials are the second most inclined cohort at 52% 
      • Men (45%) are significantly more likely to pay more for a delivery guarantee than women (36%)
    • Delivery guarantees for replenishment goods drive the greatest interest from consumers
      • See our chart below—groceries, vitamins, pet supplies and personal care items are the products consumers would like to see retailers offer guarantees for the most
      • This creates an opportunity for many retail categories that haven’t thought about guaranteed delivery—but also an opportunity for recurring subscription box companies who sell these replenishment items on a schedule.

BOXpoll™ by Pitney Bowes, a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture,and ecommerce logistics. Conducted by Pitney Bowes with Morning Consult //2094 US consumers surveyed May 2021.© Copyright Pitney Bowes Inc.

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